Events

Men’s Voices: Stepping Out of The Box

Thanks to funding from the Northern Heartlands, Awards for All, Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership and the Arts Council, our Men’s Voices exhibition is back, touring to The Witham (Barnard Castle, County Durham), Killhope Lead Mining Museum (Cowshill, County Durham) and Locomotion (Shildon, County Durham) in 2019 with a programme of linked events and workshops.

An original artistic exhibition exploring traditional masculinity; featuring textiles, poetry and sound recordings that consider how destructive social norms and stereotypes shape us and our mental health.

Discover how local artists broke down barriers with men and boys across the North East to explore aspects of masculinity that have been entrenched in this part of the world – with its history of industrial jobs that reinforced gender norms and shaped traditional roles of men and women.

Through discussions and art-making activities that the artists ran with men and boys in the area; we asked them to think about what it means to be a man and whether the social norms of masculinity are helpful/healthy. We’ll be showcasing some of the art that was created by both the artists and the men and boys involved.

As our tour unfolds, groups of young people from Teesdale School, Wolsingham School, Parkside Academy and King James I Academy will be creating a new body of work together with Visual Artist and Changing Relations Assistant Director, Polly Turner and Performance Poet Tony Gadd – whilst also being supported by participatory arts experts Helix Arts.

Locomotion

Sat 11th – Weds 22nd May 2019

Multimedia exhibition in the Engine Shed. Free admission. No booking required.

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

Mon 27th May – Thurs 13th June 2019

Multimedia exhibition in the Buddle House. £9 museum entry but no extra cost for our exhibition. No booking required.

Sat 1st June 

Join us for a day of cultural events or drop in for part of it.

10.30-11.30 – Meet the makers of the exhibition & a talk from the team at Killhope.

11.30-13.00 – Panel Talk – What should we do with our industrial heritage? Should we celebrate it or does it hold us back? We welcome four expert speakers including Lucie Brownlee, Michael Chaplin, Angela Thomas and Tony bird who promise to make this a captivating discussion. (More info on them below).

14.00-15.00 – Creative Writing Workshop – hosted by Gong-Fu Poets founder Tony Gadd,  allowing you to explore your thoughts from the Panel Talk and develop creative writing responses to take away.

Tickets £5 via Killhope and Changing Relations.

Our panel speakers accumulate to an enormous amount of heritage experience between them and we can’t wait for them to share their knowledge.  Durham Book Festival contributors, Michael Chapin and Lucie Brownlee promise to bring different angles to the debate. Whilst Mining Art Gallery curator Angela Thomas and Eldon Lane Cree community group leader, Tony Bird will also contribute their take on this compelling subject.

Michael Chaplin is a playwright, screenwriter and author of non-fiction books. Among his many credits on television, radio and the theatre is the long-running drama for BBC Radio 4 ‘The Ferryhill Philosophers’, which is set in the Durham town in which he spent the first few years of his life. Michael’s father was the novelist and short story writer Sid Chaplin.

Lucie a best-selling writer and researcher based in County Durham. In October 2018 she completed a writing commission for Durham Book Festival based on four generations of women in Easington, which explored untold stories from ‘the world above’ the pit. She is now developing this commission into a book length narrative with funding from the Society of Authors. In 2018, she won a Northern Writers’ Award for her novel The Song of Annie Chapman, on which she is currently working. Lucie holds a doctorate in Creative Writing from the University of Newcastle, where she also teaches.

Angela Thomas has been a part of The Auckland Project for over four years. As Curator of Mining Art, she oversaw the development and creation of the award-winning Mining Art Gallery which opened in Bishop Auckland in 2017. With degrees in English Literature and History specialising in Art and Visual Culture, Angela has expertise in the social history of the north east. She curates the artwork on display in the gallery and manages a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions. In 2018 she developed Bevin Boys – War’s Forgotten Workforce, commemorating 75 years since the wartime conscription scheme. More recently Angela has curated the temporary exhibition at Mining Art Gallery, Breaking Ground – Women of the Northern Coalfields, which opened in October 2018 exploring the untold stories of women in mining communities.

Tony Bird of the Dene Valley Community Partnership and also Eldon Lane Creeworks with men in the small County Durham village of the same name and has first hand experience of the repercussions that our industrial heritage has left behind.

Spoken Word Creative Writing Workshop, 2-3 pm.

Local Performance Poet Tony Gadd provides an opportunity for you to express your own thoughts on the Panel Talk themes of our industrial heritage and the gender norms it has left us with, using creative writing and spoken word. Tony will give a quick overview on what Spoken Word is, which includes a very brief idea of its heritage and an example from his own work, before giving you the confidence to find a voice of your own and put pen to paper through various creative exercises.

Admission for both events £5. Book via Killhope.

The Art Bunker – Stepping Out of the Box

Sat 14th September – Sun 13th October 2019

Multimedia exhibition. Free admission. No booking required.

Ultimately, we want to empower all genders to question destructive cultural pressures and seek healthier alternatives. We’re currently working with men, boys, women, girls and LGBT groups to extend the body of artwork contained in our original exhibition to pose questions around gender norms more broadly. Our exhibition will become Stepping Out of the Box and will showcase at brand new cultural venue, The Art Bunker in Bishop Auckland in September.

Sat 14th September 

Panel Talk: Regional regeneration: is it still a man’s world? 13.00-14.30

(More info to follow)

Creative Writing Workshop 14.45-15.45

Local Performance Poet Tony Gadd provides an opportunity for you to express your own thoughts on the Panel Talk themes of our regional regeneration and the gender norms it has left us with, using creative writing and spoken word. Tony will give a quick overview on what Spoken Word is, which includes a very brief idea of its heritage and an example from his own work, before giving you the confidence to find a voice of your own and put pen to paper through various creative exercises.

Admission for both events £5. Book via The Art Bunker.

Sat 21st September 

Spoken word drop in: ‘Page to Stage’. 10.00-16.00

(More info to follow)

Thu 26th September 

Spoken word night run by Gong Fu Poets.  19.00-21.30

(More info to follow)